The 11th-ranked Iowa State gymnastics squad will
travel to Baton Rouge, La., on Friday, Jan. 6 to take on perennial powers
Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Nebraska and Missouri at the Pete Maravich Center in the
Super Six Challenge. The event will kickoff the 2006 season for the Cyclones,
who return three All-Americans from a group that finished No. 8 in the country
in 2005 and qualified for the school's second-ever NCAA Championships
Alabama (2nd), Nebraska (6th), Iowa State (8th) and LSU (9th), all finished
in the top-10 of the 2005 final GymInfo rankings. The Crimson Tide could prove
to be one of the most formidable foes for ISU this season as they finished
second to National Champion Georgia at the 2005 NCAA Championships.
In 2006, Iowa State has goals to make another team
appearance at the NCAA Championships and to break into the elite group of
universities represented in the Super Six. All 24 routines return for the
Cyclones, who finished eighth at the NCAA Championships (195.975) just ahead of
LSU. Iowa State hopes to improve their performance as five impressive newcomers
have joined the effort. A tough schedule, including competitions with top-ranked
teams such as Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon State and
Nebraska will challenge the Cyclones as they approach postseason competition.
Iowa State will host the 2006 North Central Regional on April 8. It is the first
time NCAA gymnastics Regional to be staged in Ames.
All-Arounders and All-Americans Janet Anson, Erin Dethloff and Laura-Kay Powell return for another
season. In 2005, Dethloff claimed second-team All-American honors in the
all-around at the NCAA Championships for the second time in her career. Anson
and Powell were first-team All-Americans last season on vault and floor,
respectively. Other athletes that will see action in the all-around competition
include sophomores Jade Kvach and Lindsey Murphy.
The Iowa State gymnastics team is stacked
with a lineup of talented vaulters. No athletes were lost to graduation on this
event and the Cyclones picked up two impressive freshmen in Ceilia Maccani and
Jasmine Thompson to add to the team
effort. Team leadership on this event is evident as five upperclassmen anchor
the squad. ISU also expects sophomore Jade Kvach and senior Krystal Carney to contribute.
Kvach will bolster the lineup after being sidelined by an injury for the last
half of the 2005 season. Iowa State has good depth on vault with eight 10.0
valued vaults on the roster. Returning veterans include two-time All-American
and NCAA finalist Anson, All-American Powell and vaulting standouts in Erin Dethloff, Katie Lasher, Kvach, Jessica Oney and Murphy.
The ISU bars squad was much improved last
season as it recorded the top team bars score at the NCAA Central Regional
Championship in Tuscaloosa, Ala. In 2006, bars will be the most improved event
for the Cyclones. Three newcomers add depth to this event and the return of
Kvach to the lineup is instrumental. The squad continues to make progress and
the focus this season will be to upgrade dismounts. Dethloff, who boasts
accolades such as NCAA Regional bars champion and Big 12 bars champion, will
anchor this experienced squad for her fourth consecutive season. Anson, Kvach,
Lasher, Oiness and Powell all return for the Cyclones with upgraded dismounts
and release sequences. Freshman Ashley Kent, Murphy and Carney will
also be key to the depth and success of this year's bars effort.
Iowa State returns the entire lineup from the 2005 team that
competed in the NCAA Championships. Experienced seniors Dethloff and Powell will
be the backbone of the beam lineup and bring experience and confidence to the
As the beam anchor, Powell has hit 26 of her last 27
routines. Juniors Ashley Alden and Anson will be a
strong foundation for ISU as both bring unmatched competitive drive and
experience to the table. Kvach, a sophomore, is sure to add depth with a routine
packed with difficulty. Senior Kacey Oiness is looking to
contribute again this season and is one of only a handful of athletes in the
country to perform an "E" valued dismount. In the off-season, Murphy improved
her difficulty and looks to earn a position for the Cyclones on beam. Iowa State
is fortunate to have so many experienced veterans on balance beam. However, this
is sure to be a great event for many of the newest Cyclones as well. Newcomer
Ashley Kent (2004 Canadian
National Beam Champion), is well prepared and is expected to make an impact on
Floor was the most consistent and the highest scoring event
for the Cyclones during the 2005 season. The Cyclones return six athletes to the
lineup and hope to garner several record-breaking floor performances. Dethloff,
Anson, Oiness, Kvach, Alden and Powell all return for Iowa State. Crowd
favorites Anson, Powell and Dethloff will again exhibit their powerful tumbling
this season. Watch for these three Cyclones to anchor the squad while tumbling
with three "D" valued tumbling passes. Kvach, Oiness, and Alden will also
contribute to the depth on this event with unique dance and consistent
performances. Krystal Carney and Lindsey Murphy will also need to step up on this
season's floor lineup.
On the Deuce
The Super Six will be televised via tape-delay on
ESPN2 on January 15 in front of a national viewing audience.
Iowa State is ranked No. 11 in GymInfo's 2006
Women's Preseason Coaches Poll. The ranking is the highest preseason ranking in
program history, The Super Six will provide six of the top gymnastics squad's in
the country as all six schools are ranked by GymInfo. Alabama leads the way with
a No. 4 ranking, host LSU is seventh, Nebraska is eighth, while Auburn and
Missouri are 15th and 16th, respectively.
2005 In Review
The 2005 season marked a milestone in the Iowa State
gymnastics program, as the team qualified for its second NCAA Championships
appearance in school history. In addition to team accolades, three Cyclones
earned All-American recognition, including first-team honors for Janet Anson and Laura-Kay Powell and second team
recognition for Erin Dethloff.
The Cyclones started the season with their highest
preseason ranking at 14th - the third consecutive year ISU has bested the
previous year's ranking to open the season. Iowa State flirted with top 10
rankings during the first four weeks of the season and made the jump into the
top 10 for good Feb. 7.
The squad finished 12-3 in regular-season competition, posting a 3-1 record
against Big 12 opponents. ISU's only conference loss came against Nebraska in
Lincoln. Iowa State went 7-1 against ranked opponents, defeated intrastate rival
Iowa twice and defended Hilton Coliseum by notching a perfect 7-0 home record.
The Cyclones went undefeated at home for the second-straight season. ISU was
equally impressive as individuals in conference action. Anson and Powell were
both named Big 12 Gymnasts of the Week during the season.
ISU traveled to the Big 12 Championship in Norman, Okla., placing second
behind Nebraska. The Cyclones excelled on the floor exercise as Anson shared
top-honors, while teammates Dethloff and Powell shared second in the all-around.
All three earned Big 12 all-conference accolades. Iowa State head coach K.J. Kindler was named Big
12 Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
In early April, the Cyclones made their 11th consecutive NCAA Regional
appearance. Ironically, this time they headed south to Tuscaloosa, Ala., the
site where they last qualified for the NCAA Championships in their
record-setting 2000 campaign. On the balance beam, the Cyclones stumbled out of
the gate, but were able to refocus. With the beam behind them, the Cyclones
rallied to finish the competition on the uneven bars with Dethloff turning in
the final routine of the night. Dethloff scored a 9.85 to share the individual
title with Alabama's Ashley Miles. ISU recorded a team score of 195.625, placing
second to host Alabama and securing its trip to the NCAA National Championships.
At the NCAA Championships, the Cyclones were placed in the difficult evening
session that boasted four of the Super Six team qualifiers from 2004, including
the defending national champion UCLA Bruins. Iowa State once again drew the
balance beam to start and this time made it count. Overall, ISU hit all 24
routines for the first time in the 2005 season, turning in a 195.975 to place
fifth. Anson and Powell qualified to represent ISU in the individual event
finals on the vault and floor, respectively.
Anson placed second in the vault finals behind champion and former Olympian
Kristen Maloney of UCLA. In 2004, Anson became the first Cyclone to place in the
NCAA finals and her 2005 runner-up finish marks the highest finish of any
Cyclone at the NCAA Championships. Powell placed eighth on floor, sharing the
spot with Utah's Annabeth Eberle. Both Anson and Powell were honored in a podium
ceremony following the competition. Dethloff and Powell earned second-team
All-American honors for their efforts in the preliminaries. In all, three
Cyclones earned All-American honors five times, the most in any single year in
At the 2005 NCAA Championships, assistant coach Lou Ball and Kindler were honored by their peers. Ball
shared the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches (NACGC)
Assistant Coach of the Year honors, while Kindler was named the NACGC Head Coach
of the Year. Kindler follows in the footsteps of former ISU head coach Amy Pyle who received the honor in 2000.
The Cyclones also showed dominance in the classroom. Kristy Bellinger joined three-time honoree Kacey Oiness on the 2005 NACGC Academic All-American
list. Five gymnasts were chosen to the all-Big 12 academic team. Oiness and Jessica Oney were named to the first team, while Ashley Alden, Dethloff and
Katie Lasher were second team selections.